What can I say? (Haha, I love puns!)
Truly, though, speaking has been a huge journey for me. In the past, I was terrified of public speaking. The first time I had to speak in front of people, in seventh grade, reading my report on “Moby Dick,” I was so fearful of failure that I memorized my entire report. I spoke in a blur, overcome by feelings of nausea, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and near paralysis. I am an introvert in personality and could easily be a hermit, holed up in my house and yard, just interacting with family and those I come into contact with in the day to day of life.
After I was born again, I had an experience in the mid-1980’s where the fire of God rose up in me at a PTA meeting and literally forced me to my feet to release what God told me. It was an eye-opening moment for me to the power of God’s Rhema word, which can only be described as what I read in Jeremiah 20:9b,
“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
I had limited occasions for public speaking until around 2005, when my real training began. God positioned me in a role at a public transit agency where I became a spokesperson for their paratransit program, and the regulatory requirements for public agencies and the services they provide. In that position, I became comfortable with speaking before elected officials and the public at large, and even spoke at conferences and other gatherings around the nation and internationally. Little did I know at the time that this was my training ground for the purposes of His Kingdom, to represent Him and do my part to bring His Kingdom to the earth.
I still don’t “like” public speaking, but when I am on assignment and stand in the waters of the Jordan (at the podium), the Spirit of God within me takes over and all thoughts and feelings of fear are gone. It is an amazing process, and an amazing life, to see what God has brought me into and how He is reforming me to become what He intended all along.
If you know my story, you know that the events of my childhood caused me to become shut down. I don’t think I was born an introvert, but became one for my own psychological safety. To see God develop me to a place where I am comfortable in my own skin, confident in the knowledge that He has a purpose for my life and it is a good plan, causes me to want to help others find theirs!
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph. 1:11-12, KJV)